Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Which sex is best for coral reef fish

29.08.2003


Puberty blues: goby fish choose their sex to find a mate



Research on the Great Barrier Reef has revealed that some young reef fish can choose when they mature and which sex they want to be when they grow up.

Research conducted by JP Hobbs, an honours student at James Cook University, Townsville, focused on a colourful goby that lives in bushy corals. The research may win him a British Council sponsored study tour of the UK.


Announcing his research results at Fresh Science in Melbourne today, JP said, “We already know that lots of adult fish change sex. Now we’ve discovered that juvenile fish also possess this flexible sexual development,” he says. “With juvenile coral gobies this flexible sexual development is influenced by social conditions.”

JP found that juveniles only mature when they meet an adult fish. If they meet a male fish they mature as females and vice versa.

“It all relates back to a coral goby’s lifestyle,” he says. “The big adult gobies muscle their way into the larger corals where they form a breeding pair.”

“Juveniles are not allowed to live with the adults and are forced to live by themselves in corals too small to support a breeding pair. Here they eagerly await the disappearance of an adult so that they can enter the larger coral and pair up with the remaining adult.”

“With all the larger corals occupied by breeding pairs, there are very few opportunities for a juvenile to ‘get lucky’. So it makes sense for a juvenile to delay maturing until it finds a partner and then to mature into the opposite sex of the newfound adult.”

“We suspect this flexibility in juvenile sexual development also happens in many other reef fish. After hatching, fish larvae drift onto reefs and have no idea as to how many males and females are on a reef,” he explains. “Flexibility in sexual development will enable a juvenile to mature into the best sex for obtaining a mate.”

“It’s important that we understand what’s happening with these fish as there are implications for:
  • conservation – the coral goby only lives in bushy corals which are very vulnerable to coral bleaching;

  • aquaculture – to get the best growth rates, farmers need to understand how to stop fish from maturing;

  • fisheries management – sex-changing fish require different management practices.”

JP is presenting his research to the public for the first time thanks to Fresh Science, a national program to bring public attention to the remarkable unsung achievements of young Australian scientists. He will be speaking to the public and school students about his work on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 August at the Melbourne Museum.

Niall Byrne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.freshscience.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>